Monday, August 12th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Should fast-food chicken Goliaths KFC and Red Rooster be worried? While visits to both restaurant chains have been gradually declining over the last five years, their smaller rivals Nando’s and Oporto are steadily gaining popularity, according to the latest results from Roy Morgan Research.

While 63% of Australians aged 14+ have visited KFC at least once during their lives, and 49% have visited Red Rooster, it’s clear that more and more people are turning to Nando’s and Oporto for their fast-food chicken fix. Both chains enjoyed growth between the April–June 2008 quarter and that of January–March 2013.

Back in 2008, 21% of Aussies reported having visited Nando’s at least once. By 2013, this had grown to 28%. Oporto’s popularity experienced a similar growth, from 14% of Australians having visited as of the April–June 2008 quarter, to 20% in 2013.

Not only have total visits increased for Nando’s, there’s also been a marked increase in visitation frequency. In any given four-week period during the April-June 2008 quarter, Australians visited Nando’s an average of 1.56 times. By the January–March 2013 quarter, this had grown to 2.24 visits. The frequency of visits to Oporto also increased slightly, from 2.10 to 2.13.

Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Apr 2008 – Mar 2013, average quarterly sample = 4,899

Geoffrey Smith, General Manager — Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Increased visitation to Nando’s and Oporto appears to be affecting Australia’s main fast-food chicken chains: over the last five years, traditional favourites KFC and Red Rooster have experienced gradual declines in visitation.

“Despite KFC’s decreasing popularity, it’s still the leading fast-food chicken retailer, particularly among young Australians. Its customers are 24% more likely than the average fast-food consumer to be aged under 25. However, Nando's is also targeting this younger demographic, with their customers twice as likely to be under 25.

“In these changing times, businesses must learn to adapt to an evolving market, and KFC and Red Rooster may need to reconsider how they attract new customers and win back old ones. With public awareness about battery farming growing, perhaps the introduction of a free-range menu could be an option?”

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Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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Should fast-food chicken Goliaths KFC and Red Rooster be worried? While visits to both restaurant chains have been gradually declining over the last five years, their smaller rivals Nando’s and Oporto are steadily gaining popularity.

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